The June decision by Judge Aaron Persky to sentence Stanford student Brock Turner to six months in jail after sexually assaulting an unconscious woman sparked significant criticism that the punishment was too lenient.
Under current California law, those convicted of rape using additional physical force must serve time in prison. This measure would require the same punishment for sexual assaults of those unconscious or incapable of giving consent due to intoxication.
In a historic win for farmworkers, California lawmakers on Monday passed legislation that would expand overtime pay for more than 825,000 laborers who bring produce to stores and tables across the state.
AB 1066, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), calls for a four year phase-in of new overtime rules beginning in 2019, ultimately resulting in overtime pay for more than eight hours of work in the fields in 2022. It is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown after it was approved 44-32.
All of California's county jails would be required to provide visits from inmate family members under legislation approved on Monday by the state Senate.
Senate Bill 1157 would force a change in as many 11 counties that have either fully switched to video conferencing or are in the process of eliminating in-person visitation.
"Without this, it means we will have incarcerated people in our jails who are not able to bond with children or family members for years," said state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), the bill's author.
California's elections agency announced that there is no evidence that the state's voter registration databases had been targeted by the foreign hackers who reportedly infiltrated elections systems in Arizona and Illinois.
Yahoo News reported Monday that personal voter registration information for up to 200,000 people at the Illinois Board of Elections had been downloaded by foreign hackers.
A major overhaul of California's utility regulator is working through the Legislature with the blessing of Gov. Jerry Brown.
But some advocates and observers are worried that the efforts don't go far enough to combat the cozy relationships between industry leaders and the California Public Utilities Commission.
Even if the new measures get implemented, energy executives will still be able to meet privately with regulators during discussions about setting electric and gas rates -- though there will be more transparency surrounding the communications.
Cellphone cases made to look like guns are a new fashion trend but they may also put owners at risk, so their manufacture and sale will be outlawed in California under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The legislation was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) in response to concerns by law enforcement officials that the phone cases might be mistaken by police officers for a real firearm and lead to a violent confrontation.
Some of the cases have a handgun grip and trigger system.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday that prohibits the California Transportation Commission from providing money for any new bulk-coal terminals in the state, and he urged cities with ports to take action to reduce such shipments.
“I believe action on multiple fronts will be necessary to transition away from coal,” Brown wrote in a signing message. “In California, we’re divesting from thermal coal in our state pensions, shifting to renewable energy, and last year coal exports from California ports declined by more than one-third, from 4.65 million to 2.96 million tons. That’s a positive trend we need to build on.”
State Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) authored the bill, which was signed even as Brown noted that the city of Oakland has documented the health, safety and climate effects of coal and banned its shipment through the city.